Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Criminal Defense FAQ

Many people facing criminal charges have the same questions. If you’re dealing with the same issues, you’re probably feeling angry, anxious, or even confused. Every case is different, which is why you should contact a Texas criminal defense attorney so you can have the right person by your side. While nothing can take the place of a face-to-face consultation, there are some common questions that people ask when they’re planning their Texas criminal defense strategy.

criminal defense FAQ
Criminal Defense Lawyers
When should I talk to the police?

You should never talk the police without the presence of your attorney. If you’re being questioned by the police, they probably don’t have enough evidence to arrest you and are hoping you’ll make an incriminating statement. Don’t make this costly mistake. Many police officers who get charged with a crime will hire a criminal defense attorney almost immediately, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same.

A qualified criminal defense lawyer will look out for your best interests by talking to investigators without saying anything that can be used in court, and they’ll look for any information that he or she can use to get your charges dropped or lowered. If you choose to speak with a police office without your lawyer, they can and will use what you say against you in court.

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is your first court appearance, regardless of whether you have been arrested or taken into custody. It’s when you will be formally presented with any charges that have been made against you, and it’s where you’ll be asked to enter a plea. In the State of Texas, an arraignment is also where the judge will decide on the bail amount and whether you should be detained or released until your trial. If the court decides to keep you in custody, the judge can also decide on the amount of your bail.

What is bail and how does it work?

Any amount of money determined by the court that will allow you to be conditionally released until your trial is called a “bail.” The purpose of this arrangement is to allow people who are facing criminal charges to be freed temporarily, so they can have the opportunity to prepare for their trial. It also makes sure they come back to court when the day arrives.

People will usually hire bail bond companies to post their bail, and they get reimbursed after they show up in court (minus a premium for the service, which can be up to 10 percent). If they don’t show up for their trial, the company can revoke the bond and hire a bounty hunter to find them. A Texas criminal defense attorney can work with the courts to get the bail amount lowered or removed completely. An can also negotiate with the bond company on behalf of the client, so he or she can secure a lower premium rate.

What is a preliminary hearing?

If you have been charged with a felony offense (such a homicide or some other violent crime), a preliminary hearing will be one of the first steps in the process. During this pre-trial proceeding, the judge will determine whether there’s “probable cause” to pursue a criminal case and where the prosecution has enough evidence to charge you with a crime.

The standards for proof are much lower than an actual trial, but it’s an important step because it will give your attorney a chance to examine the case and put together the right defense. Your attorney may also take the opportunity to dispute any evidence, throw out witness testimonies, and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

What is a pretrial conference?

Also called a “pretrial motion,” a pretrial conference is a legal proceeding that happens before the trial begins. And its purpose is the make sure that it’s “fair and expeditious.” Both parties will sit together with the judge to determine which pieces of evidence and witness testimonies can be used in court. It’s also when your attorney can talk about a possible plea bargain with the District Attorney (such as pleading guilty to a less serious charge or reducing it from a felony to a misdemeanor). The majority of criminal cases never go to trial. Most of them will end through a plea bargain during the pretrial conference.

What is the difference between probation and parole?

Probation is an alternative to prison, while parole is a shortened period of time that you’ll spend in prison. If your sentence includes probation, you can suspend your time in jail in exchange for following specific guidelines. This can include any of the following:
·         Regularly checking in with a probation officer.
·         Attending rehab programs.
·         Attending your job or school.
Parole is meant to help people complete their sentence outside of jail after they have served a specific portion of it.

What is the difference between a dismissal and an expungement?

A dismissal can happen when a prosecutor decides to drop your case, which can happen after the assistant district attorney looks at it and decides that the evidence against you isn’t strong enough or isn’t worth prosecuting. In some cases, you can get a dismissal after you perform community service or attend specific classes.
An expungement refers to the process of erasing your case. Related court records are destroyed, which would allow you say on a job or loan application that you have never been convicted of a criminal charge. Expungements are hard to get. So, if you want to know if it’s possible on any of your past criminal convictions, you will need to hire a criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi.

Will my case go to trial?

It will depend on your case and your attorney. Once charges have been filed against you and a verdict can’t be reached before going to trial, you will have to go to court. But if you want to avoid a trial, your attorney might be able to convince the prosecution that your case isn’t worth pursuing. He or she might even be able to prove that the charges weren’t filed on legal grounds, which could lead to a dismissal.
If you’re looking for one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to reach out to Gale Law Group.

criminal defense faq

If you have any more questions about your case, feel free to contact Gale Law Group. We would be happy to speak with you!